Oh my goulash, guys. It’s not often that I use plonk in my cooking because it can be quite expensive, but something magical happens when you add red plonk to beef, and I just can’t resist it. Fortunately, I now live near an Aldi store, so I can get a bottle of plonk for about that is not only good enough for cooking, but also good enough that I like to drink the rest of the bottle with my meal. This one-pot American goulash is the ultimate comfort food with the richest and most delicious red Sauce ever, thanks to a touch of red plonk. Seriously, you need to try this.

DO I NEED RED plonk IN MY GOULASH?

If you want this dish to be as delicious as possible, Yes. However, if you can’t use red plonk, you can substitute beef broth instead. You will still have a pretty rock red sauce, but it just won’t be good like “Make me weak in the knees”.

WHERE’S THE PEPPER?

This is American goulash, which is basically just beef, macaroni and red sauce. It is very different from Hungarian goulash. So if you are looking for slow-cooked pieces of beef in a delicious paprika sauce, this is not the matter. This is just straight American comfort food.

CAN YOU FREEZE GOULASH?

Yes! This one-pan American goulash recipe is very freezer-friendly. Just be sure to cool the goulash completely in the refrigerator, and then put it in the freezer for long-term storage. I suggest freezing goulash for a maximum of three months. And remember, label and date everything that belongs in your freezer!

WHAT DO YOU EAT WITH GOULASH?

I would consider this a “one-pot meal”, which means that this dish covers everything you need in a meal: carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables. If anything, you might want some crusty bread to soak up that delicious sauce, or maybe a green salad to go with some extra veggies.

CAN I ADD CHEESE?

Yes! A common variant of this recipe is American goulash WITH CHEESE. I would choose medium or hot Cheddar and just sprinkle it over each bowl or stir it in the pan for an overall cheesy flavor, kind of like my vegetarian Chili mac and cheese.

WHAT KIND OF JAR SHOULD I USE?

Any large, heavy stock pot works well for this recipe. For “one-pot noodles”, you really need thick and heavy kitchen utensils so that the contents warm up evenly. Thin kitchen utensils will create hot and cold spots and cook the pasta unevenly. I used a cast iron Dutch oven covered with enamel.

Instruction

Dice the onion and chop the garlic. Fry both in a large Dutch oven with the olive oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent. While the onion and garlic are sautéing, dice the peppers, then add them to the pan and sauté for another two minutes or so.

Add the ground beef to the pan with the vegetables and continue sautéing over medium heat until the beef is cooked through. Add the red plonk to the pan and stir to dissolve the browned pieces from the bottom of the pan.
Add the diced tomatoes (with juice), tomato sauce, soy sauce, bay leaves, oregano, basil, red pepper puree and water to the pan. Stir to combine, put a lid on the pan and bring to a boil. After boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer the Sauce with the lid on for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the Sauce has cooked for 30 minutes, add the macaroni and stir. With the lid in place, continue to simmer the macaroni in the Sauce, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender (about 10 to 12 minutes).
After the pasta is tender, taste the goulash and add salt to taste. Remove the bay leaves, then serve.

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